A greener tomorrow: It's in the box!

TORONTO, April 22 /CNW/ - Local retailers have put many creative solutions in place to improve their environmental impact, and Longo's is at the forefront working hard to help the environment. Through a combination of in-store initiatives and partnerships, the Longo's chain is taking a unique approach to doing their part.

Today a new kind of reusable shopping box will be hitting the market. The shopping box, launched by Longo's throughout their 20 GTA locations, is the first of its kind in Canada. The box, which is made with "Microban", a bacteria resistant protection, can hold the contents of three shopping bags. This new eco-friendly grocery box has a patented antimicrobial lining to protect the contents from harmful bacteria during reuse.

The main environmental benefit of reusable containers is their durability, so that they can be re-used over time. Having an antimicrobial lining built-in inhibits the growth of microbes such as bacteria, mould and mildew which cause stains, odors and deterioration. With food borne bacteria a concern for general food safety, "Microban" is just one more precaution that Longo's is investing in to help keep consumers safe.

"At Longo's we believe in our role as environmental leaders in the food and grocery industry and will continue to demonstrate to our customers and surrounding communities the highest regard for sustainability" says Rosanne Longo, official spokesperson for Longo's. "When it comes to the environment and the communities in which we serve, we have taken this role seriously for more than 50 years, long before being green was popular."

With this commitment in mind, Longo's stores participate in demand response (DR3), an energy management program offered through the Ontario Power Authority and managed by EnerNOC. DR3 pays businesses to reduce its electricity usage during urgent periods, such as peak usage or high energy prices. When a DR3 event is called, Longo's will execute its energy reduction plan, which effectively and immediately removes up to 1000 kilowatts (one megawatt) of electricity off the Ontario grid.

Longo's recently increased the amount of electricity it will reduce during DR3 events to 1,000 kilowatts. This commitment is enough electricity to power approximately 500 households. By participating in DR3, Longo's helps prevent blackouts in its community, keeps regional electricity prices low and prevents the need for new peaking power plants.

Other environmental initiatives being implemented by Longo's;

The trip to the table: Longo's has proudly established many longstanding relationships with local farmers that date back over 50 years. By buying local, Longo's is reducing their carbon footprint and supporting the local economy at the same time.

Nothing wasted: Longo's has actively spearheaded a Green Bin program in which all of their organic waste such as vegetables, fruits, bakery trimmings and dairy discards are processed into livestock feed and is shipped locally to farms in Cambridge and Stouffville. Each of the chain's 20 stores average approximately four 100 kg bins per day. That amounts out to thousands of tons each year.

Carpooling for Groceries: Grocery Gateway is Ontario's local online grocery delivery service. It's like carpooling for groceries! Delivery trucks replace hundreds of cars on the road. This is becoming really popular with central Ontario residents and busy professionals who don't have the time to grocery shop for themselves - this allows families to spend more quality time together and more importantly it is also easy on the environment!

It starts and ends with a tree: Through St. Joseph's Partners in Growth program, Boy Scouts have planted over 20,500 seedlings to date on Longo's behalf to help replenish the resources that they tap into.

With Earth Day here, it's time to think about how we can improve our carbon footprint - not only for the day, but for the good of our future. Longo's is proud of their ongoing commitment and hopes many more retailers and individuals will join in.

About Longo's

A family owned organization, Longo's first opened its doors in Toronto in 1956 and now has 20 stores across the GTA, with more scheduled to open soon. Inspired by their Founders, Longo's team of food experts are dedicated to exceeding customer expectations by offering the best food experience to every customer every time by providing Fresh & Unique Offerings; Everyday Foods & Groceries; Services for Ease; and Education and Ideas For Adventures In Food.

SOURCE Longo's

For further information: For further information: or to schedule an interview, please contact: Jennifer Ouellette, Thornley Fallis Communications, (416) 515-7517 x 386, Ouellette@thornleyfallis.com

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